lawyer, for example? What can you do to make sure you don't find yourself in legal hot water?As we've touched upon here before on ReadWriteStart, addressing legal concerns can be daunting for first-time entrepreneurs. When do you really need a
Patent lawyer Brett J. Trout offers a list of ten things you can do to help make sure that your website doesn't do just that. In a post on Business Know-How, he lists the "ten legal oversights that can shut down your company website."
Trout lists both the liabilities and the solutions for each of these potential problems. As he writes, "many companies float along without any specific written policies regarding website use.... They prefer to keep their heads in the sand until a problem arises. Unfortunately, once a problem does arise, it is often too late to correct it. Furthermore, the lack of existing procedures not only may expose a company to vast amounts of liability, but time wasted determining the appropriate procedures may lead to an irreversible loss of intellectual property or expose a company to punitive damages associated with willful infringement."
What are considered to be the appropriate policies and procedures will, of course, vary from company to company. But Trout advises to keep the list of all these issues in mind as an overarching policy is outlined. And while retaining a lawyer might be necessary in order to help establish the details, it is important to think of policies as "living documents" that are periodically reviewed and refreshed so that changes in technology and in usage are taken into consideration.
Thanks to Deane Rimerman for research assistance on this post.